When racing starts this Friday 19 October at the US Team Racing Championship hosted by Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club in Oyster Bay, New York, there will be 22 teams facing off for US SAILING's Hinman Trophy.
Racing promises to be extremely close with one of the deepest fleets since the event was first held in 1981. Principal amongst the challengers are recently crowned ISAF Team Racing World Champions New York Yacht Club (NYYC) Silver Panda, returning to defend its national championship title. It won't be easy for them: the list of 132 competitors total for this event includes numerous familiar names, from past College Sailors of the Year to current US Sailing Team members. Sailed on Vanguard 15s, the US Team Racing Championship is sponsored by Rolex Watch U.S.A., Vanguard Sailboats, Nautica, and Dry Creek Vineyard.
The USA has dominated the global team racing scene for several years, US teams have won the last three ISAF Team Racing World Championships. NYYC Silver Panda
- made up of Lisa KEITH (Boston, Mass.), Colin MERRICK
(Portsmouth, R.I.), Peter LEVESQUE
(Annapolis, Md.), Clay BISCHOFF (New York, N.Y.), Amanda CALLAHAN
(Canton, Mass.), and Liz HALL
(Washington, D.C.) - won this year's World Championship just a few weeks ago. "We've got tough competition ahead of us this weekend,"
said team member LEVESQUE.
LEVESQUE is right: one of their toughest opponents will be team WHishbone
, a team that has been on the international team racing scene for a number of years and won the two previous Worlds titles. WHishbone
is made up of Tim WADLOW
(Beverly, Mass.), Karen RENZULLI
(Somerville, Mass.), Erin LARGAY
(Beverly, Mass.), Tim FALLON
(N. Falmouth, Mass.), Richard BELL (Narragansett, R.I.), and Graeme WOODWORTH (Baltimore, Md.). Several other teams are also strong contenders for the national title this year, including the Larchmont Yacht Club team, the second US team at the recent World Championship - including Daniel PLETSCH
(Sarasota, Fla.), Cardwell POTTS (Stamford, Conn.), Emily WHIPPLE (Plandome, N.Y.), Caroline HALL
(Annapolis, Md.), and Lily BECK (Larchmont, N.Y.) and new team member Brad FUNK
The youngest team in the line-up this year is the varsity sailing team of Tabor Academy, of Marion, Mass. These young sailors should not be counted out; the school won the High School Team Racing Championship last May and are one of the top high school sailing teams in the country.
For the complete entry list and other information on the US Team Racing Championship, please visit the event website at www.ussailing.org/championships/adult/ustrc
. The US Team Racing Championship is part of US SAILING's National Adult Championships series.
At the US Team Racing Championship, the format of racing is three on three (three boats per team). Each team has six sailors: a skipper and a crew on each boat. Team racing is an exciting event to watch from shore or from nearby spectator boats. The teams will be clearly identified by their bright sails with each team sailing in one colour versus another team in another distinctly different colour. Over 19 umpires and race managers will be at the event to ensure that all competitors can enjoy fair and even competition.
The winning team will be presented with US SAILING's George R. Hinman Trophy. This trophy was donated in recognition of George R. HINMAN's many years of service and contributions to sailing. HINMAN was a champion in the International One-Design class and a forefront in Long Island Sound frostbite dinghy racing for many years. He was also a past president of US SAILING and past Vice-President of ISAF.